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The Bulldozer in the Countryside: Suburban Sprawl and the Rise of American Environmentalism



Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press
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The concern today about suburban sprawl is not new. In the decades after World War II, the spread of tract-house construction changed the nature of millions of acres of land, and a variety of Americans began to protest against the environmental costs of suburban development. By the mid-1960s, indeed, many of the critics were attempting to institutionalize an urban land ethic. The Bulldozer in the Countryside is the first scholarly work to analyze the successes and failures of the varied efforts to address the environmental consequences of suburban growth from 1945 to 1970. For scholars and students of American history, the book offers a compelling new insight into two of the great stories of modern times - the mass migration to the suburbs and the rise of the environmental movement. The book also offers a valuable historical perspective for participants in contemporary debates about the alternatives to sprawl.

Author Biography

Adam Rome is assistant professor of history at Pennsylvania State University.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface xi
Acknowledgments xv
Introduction 1(14)
Levitt's Progress: The Rise of the Suburban-Industrial Complex
From the Solar House to the All-Electric Home: The Postwar Debates over Heating and Cooling
Septic- Tank Suburbia: The Problem of Waste Disposal at the Metropolitan Fringe
Open Space: The First Protests against the Bulldozed Landscape
Where Not to Build: The Campaigns to Protect Wetlands, Hillsides, and Floodplains
Water, Soil, and Wildlife: The Federal Critiques of Tract-House Development
Toward a Land Ethic: The Quiet Revolution in Land-Use Regulation
Conclusion 255(16)
Selected Bibliography 271(22)
Index 293

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